Education Week - November 30, 2016 - 21
GOVERNMENT & POLITICS
King Calls for End to Corporal Punishment in Schools
allowed in 21 states
By Andrew Ujifusa
U.S. Secretary of Education John B.
King Jr. has called on states to stop allowing schools to use corporal punishment to discipline students, arguing that
it is a "harmful practice."
In his letter to governors and chief state
school officers Nov. 22, King said that the
corporal punishment practiced in some
states' schools could also be classified as
criminal assault or battery under separate laws in those same states. Corporal
punishment is often used disproportion-
ately on certain groups of students, such
as students of color, King said. And he argued that the practice undermines efforts
to teach students nonviolent methods of
resolving conflicts and negatively affects
their long-term behavior and academic
"The use of corporal punishment can
hinder the creation of a positive school climate by focusing on punitive measures to
address student misbehavior rather than
positive behavioral interventions and supports," King wrote. "Corporal punishment
also teaches students that physical force is
an acceptable means of solving problems,
undermining efforts to promote nonviolent
techniques for conflict resolution."
In a call with reporters, King stressed
that schools are entrusted with provid-
ing a safe learning environment for students, and that it has "no place in the
schools of a modern nation."
"The continued use of corporal punishment in schools across the country violates that trust," King said, adding that
groups, including teachers' unions and
parent organizations oppose the practice. (The letter provides no legal guidance on the issue, the secretary noted.)
'Tradition' an Obstacle
When asked the biggest obstacle to
changing the practice, King cited the
adherence to "tradition" in some states
and concerns about "how schools can
ensure safe and orderly environments."
On the same call, American Federa-
tion of Teachers President Randi Weingarten called ending corporal punishment "a moral matter" that transcends
party politics. She also said a strong alliance of parents and educators would be
especially important in efforts to end the
practice in schools.
"It should have been banned in all 50
states years ago," Weingarten said.
King's recommendation comes a few
months after Education Week published
the results of an investigation into corporal punishment in American schools.
That investigation found, that more
than 109,000 students in 21 states
were paddled, swatted, or otherwise
physically punished in U.S. schools in
2013-14, based on an analysis of federal
civil rights data.
SHARP WORDS; U.S.
Secretary of Education
John B. King Jr. laid out
his views in a letter to
STATE NEWS ROUNDUP
N.J. Proposal Would Boost
Superintendents' Pay Cap
By Denisa R. Superville
The New Jersey Department of Education is considering loosening the cap on superintendents' salaries by increasing the amount
they could be paid annually.
The proposal, released Nov. 16, would reduce the number of enrollment categories, on which salaries are based to three from six,
and would include an increase in the salary cap in all of the three
The maximum salary for a superintendent serving a district of
749 or fewer students would be $147,794. Superintendents in districts with enrollments of 750 to 2,999 students would be paid up
to $169,689. Those leading districts with 3,000 or more students
could be paid up to $191,584.
The previous maximum was $175,000. Superintendents in districts with more than 10,000 students would be able to apply to
the education commissioner for a waiver to the cap, as they do
today, the department said. But only one waiver request would be
granted during a contract's term, the department said.
However, superintendents who hold additional administrative
positions in the district would be able to receive stipends that
would put them over the maximum salary. And those who stay in
the same district could receive 2 percent more than the cap allows
in the first year of a contract renewal and a 2 percent increase for
each additional year of the new contract.
Acting Education Commissioner Kimberly Harrington said the
state was "offering greater flexibility for school districts to attract
and keep quality superintendents, while still promoting fiscal efficiency."
New Jersey capped superintendents' salaries in 2011 amid concerns over escalating property taxes. The cap forced a number of
superintendents to retire early.
"These proposed amendments are a step in the right direction,"
Richard Bozza, the executive director of the New Jersey Association of School Administrators, said in a statement. "School district
leaders have retired early or left the Garden State to work in
neighboring states. The current policy created a powerful disincentive for aspiring superintendents to seek a position in New Jersey
and resulted in talented leaders opting to remain in other administrative positions rather than losing compensation."
Lawrence S. Feinsod, the executive director of the New Jersey
School Boards Association, said that while the organization appreciated the administration's step, "we are disappointed that the
salary cap concept would remain in effect."
"The compensation package for the district's chief education officer should be the purview of the local school board, " he said.
After a public comment period and hearings, final regulations
are likely to be put in place next spring.
Texas Curbs Spec. Ed. Enrollment Benchmark
The letter followed through on a promise to the Education Department, which last month ordered the TEA to end the enrollThe Texas Education Agency has told schools that they must ment target and remind schools about the requirement to proprovide services to all eligible students with disabilities and that vide special education services to all children with disabilities.
they won't be penalized for serving too many children, after the
U.S. Department of Education ordered the state agency to end Federal Order
an 8.5 percent benchmark on special education enrollment.
The Houston Chronicle previously reported that schools
The federal department's involvement was prompted by an
began denying special education services to students after the investigation by the newspaper that revealed the target and
state imposed the benchmark in 2004.
showed that the TEA had quietly implemented it while facing
In a five-page letter, Penny Schwinn, the TEA's deputy com- a $1.1 billion state budget cut and without consulting state
missioner of academics, told schools that the agency eventually lawmakers, federal officials, or any research.
would end the benchmark. Schwinn also wrote that effective
No other state has ever set a target for special education enimmediately, exceeding the 8.5 percent target would not "ad- rollment.
versely affect" district performance levels or determinations
Since the Texas policy took effect, the percentage of public
about whether districts are audited.
school students in the state receiving services dropped from
But Schwinn also defended the policy, maintaining that it near the national average of 13 percent down to 8.5 percent-
was not a "cap" on enrollment and did not seriously punish the lowest in the country.
districts for failing to comply.
Dustin Rynders of Disability Rights Texas accused the TEA
"It has been alleged that some school district personnel and of having no credibility on the issue because it "keeps trying to
others may have interpreted the [benchmark] to mean that sell its preposterous story that the 8.5 percent indicator was
districts are required to achieve a special education enrollment not a cap or a goal ... while offering no explanation for why they
rate of no more than 8.5 percent," she wrote. "This interpreta- awarded their best performance level to districts that served
tion is incorrect."
fewer than 8.5 percent of students."
High Court Denies Case
On Science Standards
injuries were abstract.
In an April decision, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of
Appeals for the 10th Circuit, in Denver, unanimously upheld
the district court and rejected COPE's theories of legal injury.
"COPE does not offer any facts to support the conclusion
that the standards condemn any religion or send a message
By Mark Walsh
of endorsement," the 10th Circuit court said. "And any fear of
The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear the appeal of a biased instruction is premised on COPE's predictions of school
group of Kansas parents and students who object on religious districts' responses to the standards-an attempt by COPE to
grounds to the state's adoption of the Next Generation Science recast a future injury as a present one."
The group alleged in a lawsuit against the Kansas state edu- Viewpoint Sought
cation department that the standards, developed by 26 states
based on a framework published by the National Research
The U.S. Supreme Court asked Kansas to respond to COPE's
Council, address religious questions by removing a "theistic" appeal, and the state stressed that curriculum decisions reviewpoint and creating a "non-theistic worldview" in science main a matter for local school districts.
instruction in the public schools.
"Although Kansas law requires the state board of education
Citizens for Objective Public Education, or COPE, argued to establish curriculum standards, locally elected school boards
that Kansas's 2013 adoption of science standards based on the remain free to determine their own curricula," said the brief
Next Generation Science Standards and the National Research filed by Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt. He added
Council's framework constituted an unconstitutional govern- that COPE had not alleged that children involved in the suit
ment establishment of religion and also violated the First attended districts where the standards had been implemented.
Amendment free exercise of religion rights of the families.
The Supreme Court Nov. 14 declined without comment to
A federal district court held in 2014 that the group and its hear the group's appeal in COPE v. Kansas State Board of Edumembers lacked standing to bring the suit because the alleged cation (Case No. 16-229).
EDUCATION WEEK | November 30, 2016 | www.edweek.org | 21
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - November 30, 2016
Education Week - November 30, 2016
States Eye Control Of Policy Levers
DIGITAL DIRECTIONS: Warning Sounded on Tech Disrupting Student Sleep
Anxiety on Civil Rights Enforcement
ACT to Offer ELL Students Extra Time for Testing
News in Brief
Group Urges Higher Standards in Teacher-Prep Admissions
Many Students ‘Stop Out’ of High School, Studies Show
Ayat’s Story, Part II: Living a College Dream
SNAPSHOT: A Divisive Presidential Election Spills Into Schools
Will a President Trump Boost Or Undermine School Choice?
Firm Path on Early Ed. Yet to Emerge
For First Family, Decision Ahead Over Schooling
K-12 Braces for Trump’s Immigration Stance
King Calls for End to Corporal Punishment in Schools
STATE NEWS ROUNDUP: N.J. Proposal Would Boost Superintendents’ Pay Cap Texas Curbs Spec. Ed. Enrollment Benchmark High Court Denies Case on Science Standards
LAURA PERILLE: A Model for Revitalizing Arts Education
ROXANNE DUNBAR-ORTIZ: On Not Erasing the Native American
LUCAS JACOB: Challenge Hatred
TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
EVON PETER: Indigenizing Education in The Arctic
Education Week - November 30, 2016 - ACT to Offer ELL Students Extra Time for Testing
Education Week - November 30, 2016 - 2
Education Week - November 30, 2016 - 3
Education Week - November 30, 2016 - News in Brief
Education Week - November 30, 2016 - Report Roundup
Education Week - November 30, 2016 - Group Urges Higher Standards in Teacher-Prep Admissions
Education Week - November 30, 2016 - Many Students ‘Stop Out’ of High School, Studies Show
Education Week - November 30, 2016 - Ayat’s Story, Part II: Living a College Dream
Education Week - November 30, 2016 - 9
Education Week - November 30, 2016 - 10
Education Week - November 30, 2016 - 11
Education Week - November 30, 2016 - 12
Education Week - November 30, 2016 - SNAPSHOT: A Divisive Presidential Election Spills Into Schools
Education Week - November 30, 2016 - Firm Path on Early Ed. Yet to Emerge
Education Week - November 30, 2016 - For First Family, Decision Ahead Over Schooling
Education Week - November 30, 2016 - K-12 Braces for Trump’s Immigration Stance
Education Week - November 30, 2016 - 17
Education Week - November 30, 2016 - 18
Education Week - November 30, 2016 - 19
Education Week - November 30, 2016 - 20
Education Week - November 30, 2016 - STATE NEWS ROUNDUP: N.J. Proposal Would Boost Superintendents’ Pay Cap Texas Curbs Spec. Ed. Enrollment Benchmark High Court Denies Case on Science Standards
Education Week - November 30, 2016 - ROXANNE DUNBAR-ORTIZ: On Not Erasing the Native American
Education Week - November 30, 2016 - LUCAS JACOB: Challenge Hatred
Education Week - November 30, 2016 - Letters
Education Week - November 30, 2016 - 25
Education Week - November 30, 2016 - TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
Education Week - November 30, 2016 - 27
Education Week - November 30, 2016 - EVON PETER: Indigenizing Education in The Arctic
Education Week - November 30, 2016 - CW1
Education Week - November 30, 2016 - CW2
Education Week - November 30, 2016 - CW3
Education Week - November 30, 2016 - CW4